Tag Archives: cilantro paste

Carne Asada with Skirt Steak, Pt. 1

Yes, I finally found skirt steak at the grocery, so I’m trying out the Serious Eats recipe, mostly because the marinade/salsa looks so tasty. Luckily there are just two of us and the little under-1 lb package will do. Even at that small size, it was $18, though, so I don’t want to make any mistakes.

I made few changes to the salsa:

  • I only used dried ancho chiles, 5 of them, instead of the two kinds in the original
  • I added two roasted jalapenos from our garden
  • I did not use canned chipotle peppers
  • I did not have, nor want fish sauce, so I added a 3rd tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Neither did I have the coriander seed, so I just skipped that
  • And mostly, I didn’t do all the juicing of fresh fruit nor the toasting and grinding of seeds—I didn’t even chop my own cilantro!


I’ll be back later to show how it all worked out on the grill—that’s the part I’m worried about, that cooking with the lid off won’t give me the char I want before the meat’s too done. In the meantime, here’s the sauce, with my variations:

Carne Asada Salsa

  • Servings: 2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

See the original recipe here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/09/carne-asada-food-lab-recipe-kenji.html

  • 5 whole dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 roasted jalapeno peppers, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro paste—solves dealing with the disgusting smell of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  1. Place dried ancho chilies on a plate and microwave until pliable, about 20-30 seconds. I didn’t know how this would work out, because I only ever reconstitute dried peppers to use in chili or to make enchilada sauce. I always strain the reconstituted, blended chiles, so I was concerned about the pepper skins, but they blended up nicely.
  2. Transfer to a blender with the rest of the ingredients, except the salt.
  3. Blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar to get all the bits.
  4. Transfer the salsa to two bowls, one to eat later as a dressing, the other for the marinade.
  5. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the marinade, dip meat portions in the sauce, then pour all into a sealable bag. Seal and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  6. Add salt to taste to the remaining salsa and refrigerate.


Asian Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken

No it’s not Asian beer, it’s an Asian-oriented marinade that includes beer, a Belgian beer to be more exact. Blue Moon® beer is a wheat beer made with some orange peel, but I’m not really counting on it to provide noticeable citrus in the marinade—would be nice if it did. Unlike last year’s grilled chicken thighs, I marinated these overnight. Here’s the simple marinade:

  • 1 12 oz bottle Blue Moon beer (or your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (for the saltiness)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Chines five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro paste (convenient to not have to smell the stuff while chopping)

I poured the marinade over the chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, set in a large bowl, and put it in the fridge overnight. Take it out about an hour before grilling to bring it up to room temperature. The grilling itself, over indirect heat, takes about an hour for perfect, juicy chicken every time. It’s like cooking in a self-cleaning oven, only better because you also get the smoky grill flavors.